Tuatara Capital, a New York private equity firm, is backing country singer and songwriter Willie Nelson’s endeavor to sell marijuana in Colorado and Washington. is leading an investor group financing the Willie’s Reserve cannabis brand for sale in the two states’ recreational markets. The Willie’s Reserve transaction is the first investment for Tuatara, said Al Foreman, a former managing director with Highbridge Principal Strategies LLC. Financial terms of the firm’s investment in Willie’s Reserve weren’t disclosed, but Mr. Foreman said the firm is focusing on growth-stage investments in companies with proven management.
The firm’s other principals include Mark Zittman, a former senior managing director at Guggenheim Partners Capital Markets Group; Marc Riiska, formerly a senior director at SS&C Technologies Inc.; and Robert Hunt, a Colorado attorney and founder of cannabis consulting firm Consult Canna. As of the end of July, Tuatara had raised $25.8 million toward its debut fund, Tuatara Capital Fund I LP, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Al Foreman, Chief Investment Officer of Tuatara Capital
We’re looking for teams that have built companies previously. We’re not really focused on early-stage risk with this industry. Our goal is to support the types of operators and high-quality teams that have established businesses and who know the compliance environment
Read Thomas Dunford’s “Willie Nelson’s Marijuana Brand Gets Private Equity Backing”: http://blogs.wsj.com/privateequity/2015/09/21/willie-nelsons-marijuana-brand-gets-private-equity-backing/